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worried about grandparents contact

(12 Posts)
lonelymum72 Wed 23-Mar-16 09:50:12

I am currently going through what is turning into a messy divorce. Please bear with me, this could be long.
We have two children, DD15 and DS8. The stbxh has always had a volatile relationship with dd, violence has been involved and it was one of the biggest reasons I made him leave. He left six months ago, and has had no visitation with dd at all, yet regular contact with ds. Despite her feisty front, she is one very hurt 15 year old girl and it breaks my heart.

Sadly on the weekend, things reached boiling point and my ex assaulted me in front of the children, he then called the police and said I had assaulted him and tried to have me arrested despite him knowing I was alone with the children with no one to look after them. As it happens I had logged the incident with 101, so although the situation is on going, I wasn't hauled away in a police van for being assaulted. We are both to appear at the police station in 9 days, and I have very good legal representation so am not too worried about it. I think he thought they would call him to "come home" and he would then be back in the house. It is very much a source of anger for him.

Anyway, his parents have always been rather full on and not discreet in their dislike of my daughter. A few weeks ago after my son had spent the night with them, I picked him up from school and he instantly burst into tears. Told me some of the terrible things that his grandparents had been saying about both me and my daughter. Things that even if they were true (they aren't!) shouldn't be put on an eight year olds shoulders. The poor mite had it whirring around his head all day angry.

My daughter called her grandparents and confronted them over it, they accused my son of lying. He was upset by this so they then admitted that yes they had said these things but they were mad that my daughter hadn't replied to a text they sent her. She didn't actually get any text, but even if she had, 15 year olds aren't known as the best at keeping in touch with anyone but their friends. They said that if they text her they expect an instant response, and if in future they don't get it then they will withhold the money they had put away for education from her. She told them in no uncertain terms that she didn't want or need their money and wouldn't be held to ransom. It makes me so sad and angry that everyone sees her as the bad one. She doesn't cover herself in glory, but I see the hurt that she is struggling to express along with the pressure of her parents divorcing and her exams. She is just a child, yet her dad is always the victim.

I haven't stopped contact with ex or his parents despite the upset it causes dd. it is very hard to balance ds seeing his dad, against the damage it causes to dd every time she is left at home.
So after this weekend, things have come to a head. His parents have become even more venomous, saying they will take me to court for formal overnight access, telling my son that mummy stole daddy's house and the police are going to put me in prison because I'm a bad person and that's what the police do, and various other things like that. He has come home a very angry boy. Aimed at both my daughter and me.
I don't want to stop contact with his dad, but I need to protect ds emotional wellbeing and his relationship with his sister. They will be siblings long after we have gone, and I feel that damage caused now will be long lasting.
I have suggested to my ex that until the police proceedings are sorted, contact with his parents shouldn't be allowed. My suggestion was that in the first instance he and dd get counselling and then perhaps bring the parents into it.

I know I can't stop him doing what he wants to do on contact time, which is already a bugbear since he doesn't really spend time with his son anyway. He is always in the pub and palming him off on his parents anyway. But I don't know what to do or where to turn. What can I do that is best for both children?
Ex has isolated me from all my family except for my dad with his lies. He follows a very standard abusers script, but even so he seems to be very convincing to even the smarter members of my family sad

One more but of background, dd and grandparents had a very strong relationship until my son was born. That is the point when she stopped being the golden girl to them as they now had the grandson they had always wanted. My two are their only grandchildren.
So if you have got this far, thanks for reading.

StillAwakeAndItIsLate Wed 23-Mar-16 10:07:02

Wow that's horrific. My advice in the first instance is to arrange a meeting with the children's schoolss and explain the situation to them.

There are various loccal organisations they will be able to signpost you to, if they cannot appropriately support them in house.
Both of your children will benefit from being able to speak to people who know them well and who can support them during the school day should it be necessary.

As for the rest of it, might it betworth contacting Women's Aid for advice? I have no idea.

StillAwakeAndItIsLate Wed 23-Mar-16 10:10:16

Sorry for typos.

CuppaTeaAndAJammieDodger Wed 23-Mar-16 10:20:04

Grandparents do not have any automatic rights of access to their grandchildren - they are using this as a tactic. And in these circumstances I very much doubt they would have any luck via the courts to gain it.

You really need to see a solicitor though and repeat exactly what you've told us. I spoke to one regarding the potential of my father to apply to the courts for access rights to DD and was told that firstly grandparents have to apply for permission to even be allowed to apply, and that even if they do get permission, the application would highly likely be denied if there is ANY question of wrongdoing by the grandparents in question or concern for the children (and from what you've told us there is a hell of a lot of that going on).

Your situation sounds really really shit - I really hope that you get some support. As StillAwakeAndItIsLate said, it may also be an idea to call Women's Aid.

Finally, good on your DD for standing up to them and saying she couldn't be held to ransom!


StillAwakeAndItIsLate Wed 23-Mar-16 10:23:50

Oh year, your 15 year old might have some issues; given every thing, II'd be more surprised if she didn't, but yes, good on her for standing up to them!

lonelymum72 Wed 23-Mar-16 10:34:52

Thanks all thanks. My daughter sadly does have issues, thankfully our relationship is very strong so for the most part she opens up to me. I see the vulnerability.
I have spoken with both schools, sons school has been great, daughters not so much confused
Ex is asking to have ds on Thursday and Friday night this week. I know he wouldn't give up two nights in the pub so one of them is definitely with his parents. I need to make a decision Asap. Ex turned up and took my son from after school club last night.
He would normally have him Thursday this week, Tuesday next. Because of the charges we are not allowed to contact each other, except using the specific email addresses set up for child contact arrangements. He chose not to use this as he "forgot" we had it. I don't know how he thought he would get my son back to me, or if he was planning on keeping him overnight. I had to contact the police to get permission to contact him. Which I did and he gave my son back, but not before he called the police saying I was demanding he was returned. The police arrived and it was a peaceful enough handover, but they can't get involved in these matters. Merely prevent a breach of the peace.
On the upside, the police have experience of people like this and finally I felt like someone saw through his victim facade. The lady officer also saw that my daughter was being treated very cruelly and had a lovely chat with her and boosted her esteem. Dd was quietly pleased that someone didn't just take her dads side that she is, to quote her dad, an evil vindictive poisonous bitch.

lonelymum72 Wed 23-Mar-16 10:35:31

Oh, and I will be contacting women's aid this afternoon. Hopefully get through today.

springydaffs Wed 23-Mar-16 10:42:58

I would do everything to stop contact - with all of them.

he assaulted you in dc's presence = NC.

They fill your ds's head with venomous dirt = NC.
They emotionally abuse dd = NC.

I don't know how you're going to do it but I would make it my solid, immoveable aim. Tell your HV, GP, schools. Get it all logged with police. Get in touch with Womens Aid (0808 2000 247; call at night) and get them onside. Get all this out there and on record = evidence for future legal action.

ailbhel Wed 23-Mar-16 10:47:38

What they're doing to your DS is also emotional abuse. You'd be completely morally justified in stopping all unsupervised contact and I think you'd be legally allowed too, pending a formal arrangement.

lonelymum72 Wed 23-Mar-16 12:22:11

I've been put in touch with my local women's aid. They are going to call me with regards to getting both of the children someone independent and age appropriate to talk to.
I feel more confident that I will stand my ground as regards to contact with the grandparents though, I'm not imagining any of this despite what the ex tells me and anyone else who will listen!

StillAwakeAndItIsLate Wed 23-Mar-16 13:04:46

Well done! flowers

springydaffs Wed 23-Mar-16 13:12:21

Brilliant. So glad to hear it. Well done star

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